Opening up the main card at UFC Vegas 16 were featherweights Nate Landwehr and Movsar Evloev. Or at least they were supposed to be opening Saturday’s card. Instead, just hours before the fight was expected to go down, Landwehr vs. Evloev dropped off the event, along with two other fights: Montana De La Rosa vs. Taila Santos, and Cody Durden vs. Jimmy Flick.
Both the Landwehr vs. Evloev and De La Rosa vs. Santos fights were lost due to COVID-19 positives. The reason for Durden vs. Flick dropping off Saturday’s Fight Night event is unclear. However, Best Fight Picks has reported that the bout is off due to “commission issues,” not the coronavirus. There’s some hope that the fight can be rescheduled for December 19.
The UFC itself later called it a “non-COVID related medical issue” with Durden.
Brazilian media outlet Combate reported that Evloev had tested positive for COVID-19. MMA Fighting, meanwhile, was first to reveal that one of De La Rosa’s corners had turned up positive for the disease.
Russia’s Evloev was a perfect 13-0 heading into the event. The former M-1 bantamweight champion had won three straight under the UFC banner, all at 145lbs and all by unanimous decision. Landwehr had split a pair of fights under the UFC banner, and was coming off a win against Darren Elkins back in May.
De La Rosa, meanwhile, had her 15th ranked spot in the UFC women’s flyweight rankings potentially on the line against Brazil’s Santos. Cody Durden was returning to flyweight to face Flick, who won his way into the UFC on the Contender Series this year.
UFC Vegas 16 will now move forward with just eight fights. The main event sees #4 ranked middleweight Jack Hermansson take on Italy’s Marvin Vettori, who sits at #13 in the division.
The UFC has confirmed all three bout cancellations.